Spain to Restrict Flights From South Africa, Botswana Over New COVID-19 Variant

Spain’s cabinet will restrict flights from South Africa and Botswana over concerns about a highly contagious new COVID-19 variant there, Health Minister Carolina Darias said Friday, following similar decisions by other European nations.

“We will see about other countries but for now those two,” she told state broadcaster TVE.

Darias did not give details on when the restrictions would come into force, but a cabinet meeting, at which such measures would be approved, is scheduled for Tuesday.

“We will also imminently adopt a resolution … to require passengers from high-risk countries to provide, in addition to vaccination [proof], either an antigen test or a PCR,” she added.

The announcement came shortly after the European Commision recommended an EU-wide travel ban to and from southern Africa due to the rapid rise of the B.1.1.529 variant in South Africa, which scientists fear could evade vaccines.

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